From 1st September, 2020, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is including a remote vessel inspection option as a temporary tool within its Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID), the inspection protocol for offshore vessels. The option to use remote inspections within OCIMF’s Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) programme was successfully rolled-out in August 2020, following a robust management of change process.
Supporting guidance issued by OCIMF on the use of remote inspections for both inspection programmes advises that the remote vessel inspection option should be used as an additional option to enhance data collection where physical inspections are not possible due to COVID-19.
Physical inspections, the industry association stresses, should still be used whenever it is safe and practicable to do so, subject to travel restrictions and other national and international health and safety guidance.
Rob Drysdale, Managing Director, OCIMF, explains:
“The reality is that disruption to vessel inspection regimes caused by COVID-19 will unfortunately continue for some time, and as an industry, we need to respond effectively and pragmatically. We have taken the step to offer a remote inspection option within our inspection programmes as a way of providing an additional safety-net to ensure that the highest standards of safety and best practice are maintained.
“The inclusion of remote inspections as an additional tool in OVID follows very careful review and consideration by OCIMF, our members and partners. The consensus opinion is that remote inspections provide a means for enabling data collection in exceptional circumstances where physical inspections are not possible due to COVID-19 and where existing inspection reports may not be sufficient as deemed by a submitting company. The selection and use of remote inspections are, however, entirely voluntary. It remains the prerogative of the OVID Submitting Company and Programme Recipient to decide whether or not to use or accept them.”
To support OVID programme users and inspectors, OCIMF has updated its Guidelines for Remote Inspections under OCIMF programmes.
Remote inspections will require the vessel operator to complete a detailed questionnaire and upload a series of documents and certificates to a dedicated online repository. This information will be reviewed remotely by an OCIMF inspector who will be required to complete a further questionnaire drawing on the vessel operator’s information and by requesting further detail from the vessel by telephone/video. Information supplied will include certificates, documents and photograph files.